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Donald "Don" Albano

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Donald "Don" Albano Obituary
Donald "Don" Albano passed away on September 23, 2017. Don, age 77, was the beloved husband of Sheila Joyce-Albano and resided in Dover, Vermont since 1968. Don was born and schooled in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Don was the father of Marc Albano and his wife Brandy and Leslie Arre-Albano both of Brattleboro, Vermont and grandfather of Joey Maillett, Maria Carfora and Gianna Arre. Don was the stepfather of Ben Joyce and Kevin Joyce, their wives Sieglinde and Mary Joyce and was the step-grandfather of Aidin and Chloe Joyce of Wilmington Vermont, Don was the brother of Janice LaPlante and her husband Paul of Wilbraham, Massachusetts and their children Tony, Mike, Todd and Traci. His parents, Frederick and Eleanor Albano preceded him.

Don had an interesting and varied career during his life graduating from Classical High School in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1957 and Springfield College in 1962. Although an English major in College, Don audited classes at Andover-Newton Theology College and was licensed to preach in the Methodist Church and was a popular preacher throughout the Eastern United States during his college years. While in college Don, served as Director of Youth Work at Agawam Baptist Church, Director of Christian Education at West Springfield's First Congregational Church on the Green and at Liberty Methodist Church.

In his second week of College, Don was asked to star in the college's production of "The Cocktail Party" and according to Don, too frightened and naive to say "no" he said "yes" and began a career in the theatre and featured in 12 productions of the college's Attic Players. During the summers, Don took on professional acting roles in summer stock and TV voiceovers.Don also worked with a small cadre of northeastern businessmen.

Don was Editor-in-chief of The Student, the college's student newspaper, and did a stint as a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette of Northampton, Massachusetts.

Don toured the United States in the feature role of Christ in the American Version of the Ommergau Passion play and worked in a professional production and financial role in the theatre landing in New York.

Don soon took a left turn and began teaching salesmen the tools of an actor in order to increase their effectiveness and eventually became a senior executive with GALC Inc., then the largest land developer in the nation and the developers of Cape Coral, Florida and Rio Rico Arizona.

Don's success in developing the effectiveness of salesmen led him to be appointed President of Vermont Land Corporation with the goal to develop out their 18,000 Vermont acres and by special arrangement a 50,000 acre tract in the Adirondacks. In his first year as President, after proposing a 3,000 lot Dover hill sub-division, Vermont Gov. Davis caused the controversial Act 250 to be enacted. Norm Runnion, Editor of the Brattleboro Reformer tagged Albano as the "Godfather of Act 250". Don took the position that the 10 regulations were logical and already were ingrained in all large real estate developments, but the potential bureaucracy of governing and administrating the regulations would soon become excessive. Don created the land and permit packages as well as the sales and marketing packages for Greenspring Townhomes, Snow Mountain Village, Snowtree Condominiums and the Dover Hills subdivision. Don's marketing campaign for the land sub-division "Get a lot while you are young" was well known throughout the valley.

In the early70's Don studied law under Attorney Tom Politano completing his course of study in 1976.

Don was a founding member of the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce and the recipient of their Life Time Achievement Award. Don also received the Citizenship Award given by the American Legion

Don's real estate career also included the purchasing and sale of Inns and lodges in New Hampshire and Vermont including the Red Cricket Lodge in Dover where he launched a senior program of 48 busses a summer for 3-4 day vacations and winter weekend busses of singles.

With newspaper "Ink" in his blood, Don purchased and published the Deerfield Valley News for 20years and growing it from 4 pages to 24 before selling it in 1991.

In 1986 Don, Sheila, his wife, and mutual friend, Missey Faas-Sackett launched SnowResorts, uniquely specializing in selling both new and used condominiums and SnowResorts Hospitality Group, focusing on renting and managing condominiums and townhouses. Remembering the" senior" business early in their career, SnowResorts created a two month resort experience of fun activities for the seniors spending summer in the valley.

Don loved his town, served as a member and Chairman of the Dover Planning Commission, member and Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, member and Chairman of North Branch Sewer District #1.

Don served on the executive Commission of the Windham Regional Commission, as vice Chair of the Vermont State Board of Libraries, on the Board of the Deerfield Valley Transportation (Moover) Authority, on special appointment to Governor Thomas Salmon's Blue Ribbon Commission on Land Regulation Reform and as a member of the Board of Directors of Kids in the Country pre-school.

Don was the past chairman of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Finance Committee and the Marketing and Development Committees as well as being a Trustee of the hospital and their various subsidiaries. Don was a member of the Governance (Executive) Committee at Southwestern Vermont Health Care.

Don was an active member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary and was the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

Don will be sorely missed by his family, friends and Havana, his puppy.

SERVICES: Funeral services for Don will be held Saturday September 30, 2017 at 11am at the First Congregationa Church of West Dover. Interment will be private. There are no visiting hours.

If friends desire, memorial gifts in Don's memory may be made to Deerfield Valley Rotary, c/o Covey-Allen & Shea Funeral Home P.O. Box 215 Wilmington, VT 05363. To send the family personal email condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Covey-Allen & Shea Funeral Home 44 East Main Street Wilmington, VT.

Published in Bennington Banner on Sept. 26, 2017
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